US 20: Keep on trucking (#4)

Written by David Green.

By LISA KLOK

It wasn’t until after World War II that full trailer and semi trailer trucks became the preferred method of shipping.

They certainly were around before then. Motorized trucks were used during the 1920s to transport goods, and they became even more popular in the 1930s.

However, after the war, it was more economical for producers to ship their goods by truck than by railroad.

trucker-3 Of course, the trucks then were far smaller than the big rigs used today. And usually, the companies had their own trucks. Today, companies hire independent trucking companies, such as USF Holland Motor Express and Eagle Transport, to haul their goods.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to see a semi truck traveling through Fayette. Follow the trafic on U.S. 20 for a minute or two and you’re bound to see a semi or a seires of semis come through.

John, a driver for JS Transport, explained why Fayette has such a heavy flow of trucks cruising through town, which can be summed up in one word: tolls.

John said Ohio has one of the highest toll rates for semi trucks. The rates are based on the trucks’ weight and he said that drivers usually have to pay between $40 and $70 just to travel the stretch of highway through Ohio one way.

“That’s almost a day’s pay for some guys, and that only covers one state,” John said.

Even though it’s slower to travel U.S. 20 than the toll road, he thinks he would still do so even if the tolls were not as expensive.

“I like driving through here. It’s a nice drive. I think of it as my quiet time,” he said.

There’s no denying that semis are a natural part of the U.S. 20 landscape, but just who and what is coming through town?

WHO AND WHAT—Pretty much anything you can think that is shipped by truck makes its way through Fayette. Cheese, meat, clothing, paper products, oil, automobiles, automobile parts, milk and grain are just a few of the products coming through town.

“You probably get a lot of trucks carrying produce through here because it’s all coming from the midwest to the east coast,” John said.

He would know. John lives in Nebraska and has driven through Fayette several times. Recently, he was traveling through Fayette from Chicago with turkey and ham cold cuts on his way to unload in New Jersey and Massachusetts.

“I’ll carry anything, but I usually carry a lot of produce,” he said.

Tony, a driver for Anthony Trucking, is very familiar with Fayette; although Fayette may not be very familiar with him.

Tony said he travels through Fayette usually twice a week. Recently, he was carrying a load of pork, chicken and cheese from Wisconsin and Chicago. He was headed to Maryland.

“I usually go to Pennsylvania or New York, but not this time,” he said.

Although not from town, Tony’s a regular at the R & H Restaurant; he said he stops there at least once a week.

More familiar with Fayette is Larry Kunkle, a local driver who delivers grain to nearby businesses.

But not everyone is as familiar with the village as Tony and Larry.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been here,” said Gerald, a Tennessee native.

And what was he carrying? Absolutely nothing.

“I just unloaded a shipment at the plastic company,” he said. He was driving to Niles to pick up another load and then he was headed to Florida.

And of course, there are the occasional visitors, drivers not familiar and not unfamiliar with Fayette.

Mark, a driver from Idaho says he usually runs a shipment of cheese to Buffalo, New York once a month.

And Harry, who drives for DeBacker Farms, said he comes through Fayette twice a week for four months of the year with potatoes from the Upper Peninsula.

You might just eat one of those potatoes. The Michigan native said his spuds will eventually end up in Campbell’s Soup products.

So regardless of whether you notice the trucks, remember this: What’s coming through Fayette may just end up in your house, on your body or in your mouth. It’s a vital ribbon of pavement that adds flavor to Fayette.

- March 31,2004 
  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017